Written by: Adam King
Thursday, June 28th, 2001
Taped (6/26) from Madison Swaure Garden in New York, NY
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Kane (5/20/2001)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (6/21/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Matt Hardy (4/26/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Mike Awesome (6/25/2001)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: X-Pac (6/25/2001)
~ Smackdown comes on the air with a lengthy intro video highlighting the WCW Invasion on Raw. Michael Cole and Tazz then welcome us to the show and talk about coming from Madison Square Garden for the second time this week.
~ And just like on Monday, Vince McMahon makes his way to the ring to open the show. Who says he doesn’t have an ego? Vince gets on the mic and says something stinks, and it’s Madison Square Garden after WCW invaded on Raw. Vince says MSG used to be hallowed ground, that he was proud to stand in the ring here, but after Mike Awesome, Diamond Dallas Page and Booker T invaded, MSG isn’t the most famous arena anymore, it’s now no different than the Nassau County Colliseum. Vince mentions Shane McMahon is trying to get his stars face time, using WCW being blocked from television as an excuse, while Vince feels he’s doing the public a favor for keeping them off TV. Vince says as far as tonight goes, Shane and WCW are welcome to try and mess with them on Smackdown because the WWF is ready for them tonight.
On that note the classic Wrestlemania theme fires up and Linda McMahon comes out to the ring to offer a rebuttal. Linda feels Vince doesn’t mean what he said about the Garden earlier, that she knows how passionate he is about MSG. Linda mentions how Vince likes to brag about the WWF having such a history here, even after all the classic clips he showed on Raw. Linda feels Voince left out one important Garden moment before showing a clip of Vince’s divorce rant at Linda the previous December. Vince is all sheepish and claims he’s a different man from back then, that he’s striving to work things out with Linda to avoid a divorce and that he loves her. Linda says she doesn’t doubt Vince loves him but she’s here to talk about fairness, not love. Linda feels it’s not really fair the way Vince has prevented Shane from having his own television program, when a number of fans want to see the WCW stars. Linda suggests the fair thing would be to allow WCW wrestlers to compete on WWF television, starting Monday. Not surprisingly Vince balks, calling it the most ridiculous idea he ever heard, and Linda feels Vince is afraid of a little compettion. Linda now suggests something bigger, an event where the WWF and WCW compete head-to-head, and even suggests their next scheduled pay-per-view, Fully Loaded, would be the best setting. For some reason Vince agrees to the idea of WWF versus WCW and accepts the proposal, even deciding to rename the supercard “Invasion”, and promises to drive Shane and WCW out of business for good. So we have the angle rolling, but notice how it was Vince and Linda setting it up, not anyone actually associated with WCW.
~ Backstage we find the Acolytes have called another meeting of the WWF scrubs. Faarooq accuses WCW of thinking this a joke before ranting on how each of the men in the room helped build Madison Square Garden. Kind of hard to do that when they spend most of their time on Jakked. Faarooq says no one has been able to walk into his house and take food out of his mouth and it’s not going to start now, because they’re going to make sure what Booker T did doesn’t happen again. Bradshaw tells their troops to remember which door they’re supposed to be watching before promising a fight in the Big Apple tonight.
Edge & Christian vs. “The One” Billy Gunn & X-Pac
Yep, Edge has to deal with Billy again after thier horrible match on Raw. Billy didn’t like how E&C combined to rob him of the victory so he’s recruited recruited X-Pac as a partner “for one night only”. Edge comes out with the KOTR trophy, which Christian takes from his hands and carries to the ring for him, then Edge takes announcer Tony Chimel’s mic and introduces one of their opponents as “Billy (*bleep*)cakes.” Once everyone is out Billy is anxious to tear into Edge but X-Pac insists that he start for them against Edge. X-Pac gets in the first shots and gets a headlock, Edge shoves him away but X-Pac hits a shoulderblock. X-Pac comes off the ropes but Edge leapfrogs over him and hits a powerslam then covers but Billy saves it. Christian comes in as Edge goes for a whip but X-Pac sends Edge into Christian, knocking him off the apron. X-Pac follows up with a spinkick then Billy gets the tag and lays the boots to Edge and hammers him in a corner. Billy whips Edge into another cornrer and goes for a Stinger Splash but Edge dodges it and tags Christian in. Christian gets in his shots when Billy goes for a press slam but Christian floats over him and hits the Slop Drop. X-Pac comes in and Christian catches him with a gutbuster then turns to Edge when Billy clotheslines him. Billy rams Christian into several buckles then throws him to the mat and unloads on him with right hands. Billy rams Christian into X-Pac’s boot before tagging him in and X-Pac kicks Christian down in their corner. X-Pac follows up with the Bronco Buster then stops to pose on the ropes when Christian powerbombs him. Edge gets the tag and decks Billy then clotheslines X-Pac and goes to whip him but X-Pac reverses it. Edge comes back with a heelkick when Billy comes in and whips Edge but Edge hits him with a headscissors. Billy rolls out to the floor while Edge drills X-Pac with the Impailer, or the Buzzkilelr as he now calls it, and there’s the pin. (3:52) Okay match but can Edge finally move on from Billy Gunn now? Christian celebrates by bringing the trophy in the ring and holding it up in the air while Edge just looks on. **
~ Backstage we find Debra admiring Steve Austin’s title belt when Austin snatches it away lest she be touching it. Austin then claims that had Booker T been at WWF New York when he got there, he would have torn him apart and could have even been in jail for mansualughter. Vince then comes in and asks the Austins how they’re doing and Austin says he has a problem with what Vince said earlier. Austin says he’s all for the WWF vs. WCW Invasion pay-per-view since that’ll mean he gets his hands on Booker T one way or another. Austin says what upsets him is Vince not allowing the WCW matches on their shows, feeling they should go ahead with it. Vince balks at it even as Austin accuses him of being afraid of competition and demands a reason why. Austin deicdes to whispers a reaosn in Vince’s ear and Vince calls it a brilliant idea, so he decides to allow WCW matches this Monday on Raw and again on Smackdown next week. Again, no real involvement from WCW.
~ Back form break we get a look at the New York skyline as Cole and Tazz buzz about the tension in the air with this WCW thing.
~ We then find Spike Dudley and Molly Holly enjoying a moment, with Molly thanking Spike for taking her to the Statue of Liberty. Just then Perry Saturn walks up carrying a mop and says “Sponges are beautiful because they get all soapy. You’re welcome.” and walks off as fast as he came. Spike and Molly try to move on when Crash pops in yelling at Molly for disgracing the family name. Crash also tells Spike that short people make him sick and Spike tells Crash not to be jealous because he never kissed a girl. Crash is taken aback before then announcing that he and Jacqueline have challenged the two of them to an intergender match after Jackie heard what Molly said about her not being good enough to be on Tough Enough. Molly denies it but Crash just walks off.
~ We get look at Cole (who’s sporting a shiner from the assault last week) and Tazz as they recap the events between The Undertaker, Sara and Diamond Dallas Page on Raw, mentioning how Taker isn’t here tonight. That’s followed by a sit-down interview Jim Ross had with the couple earlier in the week. JR asks Sara if she feels violated and traumatized over the situation and Sara rants how neither of them asked for this, that Taker had tried to keep her as far away from the business as possible. Sara says DDP went through her to become famous but discovered she doesn’t run and isn’t afraid to fight. Sara also warns DDP to be careful what he wishes for, since everyone is more famous when they’re dead. Taker then decides this interview is over and walks off with Sara.
~ We then check in on Vince and the Austins as they discuss Booker T, with Vince feeling that even he could take Booker down. Just then Kurt Angle comes in and Vince looks to shake his hand but Austin interupts that with a hug. Angle then discusses Booker ambushing Vince on Monday before wondering if Booker and Austin crossed paths, with Ausitn saying he’s beat Booker up no problem. Angle mentions a rumor that Booker is in the builing and Austin and Vince want Booker to come get some of them.
WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Kane © vs. Albert – No-Disqualification Match
Because Albert cost Kane the Tag Team Titles on Raw, we get to see this match again. Granted they did have that shockingly good match the previous week but what are the chances of that happening again. Kane meets Albert on the ramp and the two duke it out when Kane takes control and throws Albert in the ring. Kane pummels Albert in a corner then whips him into the other corner but Albert comes out with a bicycle kick followed by a big splash that gets a two count. Albert pounds Kane in a corner and caps off with a short-arm clothesline then tosses him out through the ropes. Albert goes out and hits a knee to the face but Kane rams Albert into the steps. Albert grabs the ringbell and nails Kane with it then tosses him back in the ring. Albert whips Kane into a corner and goes for the Avalanche but eats an elbow and Kane hits a Frankensteiner! Kane hits several clotheslines and peppers him with jabs then goes for a whip, Albert sends him into a corner but runs into a powerslam then Kane grabs him by the throat but Albert fights off the chokeslam. Albert charges but eats a big boot then Kane climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying clothesline. Kane hits the chokeslam this time but Diamond Dallas Page is in and takes Kane out with the Diamond Cutter. And let me tell you, Kane doesn’t do a good job of taking the move. DDP takes off while Albert plants Kane with the Baldobomb and gets the 1..2..3 for the title. Ugh! (4:53) Yep, the unwanted Albert push results in him becoming the #2 titleholder, and in the span of four days 2/3rds of X-Factor has captured gold. Mainly there to advance the DDP/Undertaker issue as well as give Albert the belt no one wanted to see him win. **
~ Back from break we get a replay of Diamond Dallas Page putting in a surprise appearence and costing Kane the Intercontinental Title. We then check back in on Vince and friends, with Austin making Angle feel uncomfortable while Vince rants how this is The Undertaker’s fault. Vince mentions how Taker insisted DDP get a free pass into the WWF so this is on him. Angle feels with DDP around, Booker T has to be nearby, while Austin continues to stare daggers at him.
WWF WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: The Dudley Boyz © vs. The Hardy Boyz (w/Lita) – Elimination Tables Match
Oh, look, for no real reason the Hardys and Dudleys are fighting for the titles yet again, and in a tables match to boot. The Hardys make their way out to the ring first and set up a table at ringside then await their opponents. The Dudleys bring their own pair of tables out to the floor and the Hardys pounce on them as they slide in. Jeff and D’Von duck it out while Matt wails on Bubba but Bubba fights back and tosses him through the ropes. Bubba helps D’Von whip Jeff into a corner then whips D’Von into a splash on him and hits a sidewalk slam. D’Von hops to the middle rope and nails Jeff with a legdrop then Bubba draws Matt in to distract the referee. Bubba slams Jeff and sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the (former) “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba finally heads out to the corner to make it one-on-one while D’Von whips Jeff and hits the jumping elbow. Bubba tags in and whips Jeff into a corner but Jeff runs up the turnbuckles and hits the Whisper in the Wind. Bubba tags D’Von but Matt gets his tag and greets him with a clothesline then turns and clotheslines Bubba. Matt drills Bubba with a DDT then goes to whip D’Von, D’Von reverses him into a corner but eats a boot. Matt hops to the middle rope and hits the guilltoine legdrop while Jeff intercetps Bubba with a dropkick. The Hardys whip D’Von into a corner and Matt drops into position allowing Jeff to hit the Poetry in Motion. Matt drops down and Jeff goes for the Poetry in Motion on Bubba but Bubba catches him into a powerbomb. Matt goes to whip D’Von but D’Von sends him into a clothesline from Bubba who tells him to fetch a table. D’Von sets table up in the ring then works Jeff over and sets him on the top rope while Bubba pounds on Matt. Bubba hops to the middle rope but misses a senton while D’Von sets Jeff up for a superplex through a table. Jeff shoves D’Von away form him but Bubba moves the table out of D’Von’s way before he crashes through it. Lita climbs to the top rope and hits Bubba with a huricanrnana while Matt drills D’Von with a Twist of Fate. Matt then places D’Von on the table and Jeff drives him through it with a Swaton Bomb to eliminate him. However Bubba backdrops Jeff over the ropes and Jeff crashes through both tables at ringside and he’s out. It’s down to Matt versus Bubba when Matt climbs to the top rope and nails Bubba with a flying clothesline. However …. we suddenly have Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire, the WCW Tag Team Champions, running in the ring and attacking both guys! O’Haire plants Bubba with a fireman’s carry into a spinebuster while Plaumbo takes Matt out with a Jungle Kick. O’Haire then climbs to the top rope and nails Matt with a Seanton Bomb and I’m guessing this match is over. (4:33) Rhyno, Haku, Godfather and Bull Buchanan come down the ramp but O’Haire and Palumbo slip into the crowd. With the WCW Tag Team Champions punking out both the WWF’s top tag teams, this would have been a fine segment had it ended there.
Unfortunately it doesn’t. Before the WCW champs can escape they’re jumped by the Acolytes and a bunch of other WWF scrubs. Palumbo gets tossed back over the barricade where Rhyno is waiting with the Gore. Bradshaw wails on O’Haire while Palumbo gets tossed in the ring for some more punishment with O’Haire following after. A pair of tables are also slid in the ring and Faarooq puts Palumbo through one table with a spinebuster while Bradshaw powerbombs O’Haire through another. Yep, bring the WCW Tag Team Champions in only to see them get destroyed by a bunch of scrubs in their debuts.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Palumbo and O’Haire making their surprise appearences only to get ambushed by the Acolytes and their army. We also get footage of the WWF scrubs showing the champs the door during the break.
Spike Dudley & Molly Holly vs. Crash Holly & Jacqueline – Intergender Match
Crash and Jackie come out first followed by Spike and Molly who come down the aisle arm-in-arm as Cole compares them to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Okay. Spike even parts the ropes for Molly, only for Jackie to punk her out to start the match. Jackie wails on Molly then whips her and hits a sidewalk slam. Crash tags in looking to rough up his cousin but Molly crawls under him and connects with some chops. Spike tags in and gets in his shots on Crash then whips him and hits a hiptoss followed by a dropkick and a headscissors. Spike goes for a whip when Crash reverses it but eats a shoulderblock. Crash tosses Spike through the ropes then taunts Molly, distracting the referee while Jackie works Spike over on the floor. Jackie throws Spike into the steps then pulls his shoulder into the ringpost before throwing him back in the ring for a two count. Crash stomps Spike int he head then slaps on a Camel Clutch while again taunting Molly. Crash whips Spike but both men knock heads and are both down. Both men crawl to the corners and Jackie gets her tag but Molly gets the hot tag as well. Molly hits a clothesline and a dropkick then whips Jackie and hits a backdrop. Crash is in but he eats a chop then Molly whips him into a corner and connects with a sweet handspring elbow. Molly covers Crash even though he’s not the legal man but Jackie makes the save with a dropkick. Jackie hammers Molly while Spike comes in but Crash hot shots him on the ropes. Jackie climbs to the top rope as Crash sets Spike up but Spike coutners and catapuls Crash into Jackie, causing her to crotch the top rope. Jackie stumbles to the mat at Molly climbs to the top rope and connects with the Molly-Go-Round for the pin. (3:31) This was actually a fun match with some good effort from everyone involved. Spike and Molly celebrate before departing while Crash berates Jackie for losing the match but Jackie takes exception to that and shoves him. Crash pie-faces Jackie down but Jackie is up and lays him out with a some forearms. Jackie gives Crash the business before leaving him stewing in the ring. **
~ We check in on Vince’s fun bunch as Austin is getting a headache from listening to Angle, who talks about who would win in a fight between Austin and Booker T and even breaks downt he comparisons between the two. Eventually someone knocks on the door and Austin welcomes the interuption as Dave Hebner comes in reporting that someone from WCW wants to see Vince and is waiting in locker room #4. Angle figures it must be Booker T and the men head out to take care of it while Debra stays behind.
~ Back from break Vince and pals are in front of the locker room in question, with Austin and Angle arguing on who gets first dibs on Booker. Eventually all three barge in and don’t find Booker but instead find Torrie Wilson. Torrie assures Vince that she’s here to talk to him, claiming her contract with WCW is about the expire and she’s looking to sign up with the WWF. Torrie even puts over how better looking Vince is in person and how he’s a genius, prompting Austin to hug Vince in response. Vince then suggests he and Torrie could discuss a contract over dinner this weekend, with Austin and Angle both offering to join them before bickering with each other.
~ We now get a recap of the Tough Enough casting special as Cole announces the first official episode premieres tonight, right after Smackdown on MTV.
~ Back from break we find Tajiri meeting with William Regal, who has his back to the camera as he rants about scrubing his face for three days and being unable to clean off the remants of Tajiri’s mist. Regal then turns to the camera to reveal his face is still green as he assures Tajiri he doesn’t blame him, it’s Chris Jericho’s fault. Regal suggests a double ladder, barbed wire cage match to punish Jericho when Jericho barges in and suggests Regal punish him himself. Jericho mentions how he’s beaten both Regal and Tajiri in singles matches so he suggests a tag team contest. Regal accepts, feeling Jericho is crazy since his partner Chris Benoit is out with a neck injury and suggesting he get the Phantom of the Opera to team with him. Jericho assures Regal he’ll find a partner, then asks how his tea is, prompting a spit take.
The Big Show (w/Trish Stratus) vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri Runnels)
Why is this match taking place, you ask? We get clips showing us as during the break Show accidentally spilled Trish’s water bottle and he grabbed a mop to clean it up, only it was the mop that Saturn took a liking to last wekk, and Show would break it in half and somehow that led to a match being signed. Yeah, I don’t care either. Anyway Saturn has the mop with him as he gets in the first shots but Show shoves him away. Show tosses Saturn into a corner and hits a giant chop followed by a butt bump. Saturn tries to fight back but Show stops that with a clothesline then stands on his neck before hitting an elbowdrop. Show clubs Saturn in the back and scoops him up but Saturn slips out and ddropkicks Show’s neck before hitting a dropkick to the head. Saturn climbs to the top rope and connects with a missle dropkick then covers but Show powers out of the pin. Show press slams Saturn over the ropes then goes out and grinds his head into the steps. Show turns to find Terri coming up form behind and she backs away, then turns back and goes for a running kick but misses Saturn and wraps his leg around the post. Saturn tries to fight back but Trish grabs the mop and gets Saturn’s attention then lures him away. However Terri nails Trish from behind, so Trish takes a swing with the mop and misses Terri, while the mop goes flying into the ring as the ladies catfight. Meanwhile Saturn is back in the ring checking on the mop but Show nails him with a big boot and the chokeslam finishes this. (3:22) Yeah, whatever. Show and Trish celebrate while Saturn tries to put his mop back together. DUD
~ Backstage we find The Acolytes, The Goodfather and Funaki guarding the doors against any other WCW intrusion as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break William Regal and Tajiri head to the ring for the next match as Cole mentions how the Acolytes are going to be this week’s guest hosts on Sunday Night Heat. Chris Jericho then comes out alone and gets on the mic talking about scouring the streets of New York City looking for a partner for the match. Jericho says he didn’t find the Phantom but did find the Worm and sure enough his partner turns out to be….
Chris Jericho & Scotty 2 Hotty vs. William Regal & Tajiri
Scotty is back form being put on the shelf by Kurt Angle’s Anklelock back in March. Scotty starts against Tajiri and gets an armwringer, Tajiri counters into his own hold but Scotty kips out if it. Scotty then goes into a headlock and Tajiri shoves him away but Scotty comes back with a shoulderblock. Scotty comes off the ropes and Tajiri leapfrogs over him but Scotty catches him with a sit-down Atomic Drop. Scotty springboards off the middle rope and connects with a dropkick to Tajiri’s face before busting a move. Jericho tags in and whips Tajiri, hitting a knee to the chest, then works him over in a corner with chops. Jericho goes for a whip, Tajiri reverses him into a corner and eats an elbow but connects with a heelkick. Regal gets the tag and hammers Jericho with forearms but Jericho quickly fights back then slaps on a headlock. Regal shoves Jericho away and throws him over the ropes then waves to the fans as Jericho lands on his feet. Jericho climbs to the top rope and nails Regal with a flying sledge then tags Scotty in for a quick double-team. Scotty goes for a whip when Regal reverses it and Scotty leapfrogs over him then gets in a shot on Tajiri. Regal comes back and tosses Scotty through the ropes and Tajiri nails him with a stiff kick to the face. Tajiri tosses Scotty back in the ring and Regal hits a European uppercut then whips him hard into a corner. Regal goes for a suplex but Scotty flips out of it and drills him with a DDT then makes the tag to Jericho. Tajiri also gets his tag but Jericho ducks a spinkick and takes it to both men then hits Regal with a backdrop. Jericho goes to whip Tajiri who reverses it but Jericho hits a flying forearm as Regal rolls out to the apron. Jericho nails Regal with the springboard dropkick and chops away at Tajiri then whips him and hits an elbow. Jericho then goes for the Lionsault and misses it but lands on his feet and plants Tajiri with a powerbomb. Jericho holds on and hits a second powerbomb then covers as Regal tries to save it but nails Tajiri instead. Jericho tosses Regal out through the ropes then tags Scotty in while he goes after Regal on the floor. Scotty nails Tajiri with the bulldog then follows up with the Worm and gets the three. (4:23) Nice little match there and a good return for Scotty, though it’s kind of lame that Tajiri had to job to the Worm. **½
~ Backstage Vince and the others are back in the lounge, with Vince talking about Torrie and Angle feeling they should worry about Booker T. Eventually Austin says he’s had enough of hearing about Booker all the time and decides to go to the ring and call him out. Austin storms out of the room as Vince asks Angle if he has his back, with Angle saying Austin doesn’t need backup as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Austin hits the ring for our main event promo time. Austin gets on the mic and says he’s tired of hearing about Booker T, and the easy thing for him to do would be to sit in the ring and insult him all night. Austin instead decides to give Booker 10 seconds to show how much self respect he has by coming in the ring and looking into the eyes of the WWF Champion. Austin counts down from 10 but Booker shows up so Austin feels that proves that Booker fears him and has no guts, just like everyone else. However Austin turns around to find Tazz has left the announce table and stands before him in the ring. Tazz gets on the mic and demands Austin apologize to Michael Cole for beating him up last week, even showing footage of the deed on the OvalTron. Austin refuses, so Tazz threatens to beat an apology out of him, and even challenges him to a title match right there. Austin says he’s willing to defend the title anywhere, anytime, just not right there. Austin then shows Tazz the closest he’ll come to the WWF Championship by waffling him with the title belt. Austin stomps Tazz out to the floor and viciously assaults him with a chair before throwing him into the steps and Tazz is left in a heap. Cole leaves the table to tend to his partner when Austin demands that Cole come in the ring for another beating. Cole refuses and walks away even as Austin dares him to come in the ring. Eventually Booker T comes out from the crowd and lays Austin out with the WCW Championship belt. Booker stands over his fallen counterpart and has some words then flees back into the crowd before the Acolytes and their army chase after him.
We then cut backstage to see Shane by the WCW 1 limo, talking on his cell phone thanking someone for a tip. Booker runs up and he and Shane jump into the limo as the WWF scrubs try to get at them. However the limo manages to pull away and make its escape, leaving the army frustrated as we fade to black.
Conclusion: Not a bad show here as there was some decent action and they got the ball rolling on the big angle, though there was little if any build toward the pay-per-view. This is supposed to be WWF vs. WCW, but if you notice the WCW guys are being made to look weak even before the angle begins in earnest. The tag team champs came in but were destroyed by a bunch of scrubs, Booker has to rely on hit-and-run tatcis with Austin before he gets chased off by many of those same scrubs, and we already know about DDP. You’d figured they would have the entire WCW roster attack en masse to show how they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with. Plus it was Vince and Linda that got Invasion set up, and Vince and Austin that got the WCW matches on WWF TV set up, instead of Vince and Shane. That should have been a warning flag to how this angle would unfold. We’ll go thumbs in the middle here.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.